“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.”

-Ghandi

This entry is based on the links… I sat up a good part of the evening pondering what I am seeing unfold in the USA. Actually, this is an old story as my friend Tomas told me this morning on the phone from his place on the East Coast. I have to agree. Thanks Tomas for putting it in perspective. Wakey Wakey!

So I am asking you to consider a novel approach for the here and now. Resist by building your community, and owning/sharing your lives. Reach out and give aid to those in need, and look to living is such away as to be a blessing on the green earth and not a curse.

I pray that we realize that we are always enfolded in community, and not just human community. Being here is being a part of the whole, not separate from it.

We can let go of the past and build a future for those that come after. Witness the truth, and resist by the power of Love.

What we are witnessing is another face of the madness, and its need to be control. Be like water in the palm of the hand, be like mercury. The future will be made with Love, I promise.

Bright Blessings,

Gwyllm

On The Menu

The Only Links You Will Need

Coyote and the Monsters of the Bitterroot Valley

Poetry Of Resistance

_____________

The Only Links You Will Need:

Gonzales Questions Habeas Corpus: More Fun With the Constitution

How to Interpret the Ten Commandments: An attempt at legal analysis of Biblical law following Gonzalesian logic.

____________

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”

-Ghandi

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Coyote and the Monsters of the Bitterroot Valley

This story was recorded from a great-great-grandmother whose name means “Painted-Hem-of-the-Skirt.” In the summer of 1955, she was the only person on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana that even an interested interpreter could find who knew the old stories of their people.

The Bitterroot Valley is in western Montana.

After Coyote had killed the monster near the mouth of the Jocko River, he turned south and went up the Bitterroot Valley. Soon he saw two huge monsters, one at each end of a ridge. Coyote killed them, changed them into tall rocks, and said, “You will always be there.”

There the tall rocks still stand.

Then he went on. Someone had told him about another monster, an Elk monster, up on a mountain to the east. Coyote said to his wife, Mole, “Dig a tunnel clear to the place where that monster is. Dig several holes in the tunnel. Then move our camp to the other side.”

Coyote went through the tunnel Mole had made, got out of it, and saw the Elk monster. The monster was surprised to see him.

“How did you get here?” he asked. “Where did you come from?” The monster was scared.

“I came across the prairie,” lied Coyote. “Don’t you see my trail? You must be blind if you didn’t see me.”

The monster became more scared. He thought that Coyote must have greater powers than he himself had.

Coyote’s dog was Pine Squirrel, and the Elk monster’s dog was Grizzly Bear. Grizzly Bear growled at Pine Squirrel, and Pine Squirrel barked back.

“You’d better stop your dog,” said the monster. “If you don’t, he’ll lose his head.”

The dogs wanted to fight. Grizzly Bear jumped at Coyote’s dog. Pine Squirrel went under him and killed him with the flint he wore on his head. The flint ripped Grizzly Bear. Bones and flesh flew everywhere.

“Look down there,” said Coyote to the Elk monster. “See those people coming along that trail? Let’s go after them.”

He knew that what he saw was Mole moving their camp, but the monster could not see clearly in the tunnel. Elk monster picked up his shield, his spear, and his knife. “I’m ready,” he said.

After they had gone a short distance along the trail, the monster fell into the first hole. Coyote called loudly, as if he were calling to an enemy ahead of them. The monster climbed out of the hole, tried to run, but fell into one hole after another. At last Coyote said to him, “Let me carry your shield. Then you can run faster.”

Coyote put the shield on his back, but the monster still had trouble. “Let me carry your spear,” Coyote said. Soon he got the monster’s knife, also–and all of his equipment. Then Coyote ran round and round, shouting, “This is how we charge the enemy.”

And he jabbed the monster with the monster’s spear. “I have the enemy’s warbonnet!” he yelled. He jabbed the monster four times, each time yelling that he had taken something from the enemy. The fifth time he jabbed the monster, he yelled, “I have stripped the enemy.” Then he said to the Elk monster, “You can never kill anyone again.”

Coyote went on up the Bitterroot Valley. He heard a baby crying, up on a hill. Coyote went up to the baby, not knowing it was a monster. He put his finger in the baby’s mouth, to let it suck. The baby ate the flesh off Coyote’s finger, then his hand, and then his arm. The monster baby killed Coyote. Only his skeleton was left.

After a while, Coyote’s good friend Fox came along. Fox stepped over the dead body, and Coyote came to life. He began to stretch as if he had been asleep. “I’ve slept a long time,” he said to Fox.

You’ve been dead,” Fox told him. “That baby is a monster, and he killed you.”

Coyote looked around, but the baby was gone. He put some flint on his finger and waited for the baby to come back. When he heard it crying, he called out, “Hello, baby! You must be hungry.”

Coyote let it have his flinted finger to suck. The baby cut himself and died.

“That’s the last of you,” said Coyote. “This hill will forever be called Sleeping Child.”

And that is what the Indians call it today.

After Coyote had left Sleeping Child, Fox joined him again and they travelled together. Soon Coyote grew tired of carrying his blanket, and so he laid it on a rock. After they had travelled farther, they saw a storm coming. They went back to the rock, Coyote picked up his blanket, and the two friends moved on. When the rain began to fall, he put the blanket over himself and Fox. While lying there, covered by the blanket, they looked out and saw the rock running toward them.

Fox went uphill, but Coyote ran downhill. The rock followed close on Coyote’s trail. Coyote crossed the river, sure that he was safe. Spreading his clothes out on a rock, he thought he would rest while they dried. But the rock followed him across the river. When he saw it coming out of the water, Coyote began to run. He saw three women sitting nearby, with stone hammers in their hands.

“If that rock comes here,” Coyote said to the women, “you break it with your hammers.”

But the rock got away from the women. Coyote ran on to where a creek comes down from the mountains near Darby. There he took some vines–Indians call them “monkey ropes”–and placed them so that the rock would get tangled up in them. He set fire to the monkey ropes. The rock got tangled in the burning ropes and was killed by the heat.

Then Coyote said to the rock, “The Indians will come through here on their way to the buffalo country. They will play with you. They will find you slick and heavy, and they will lift you up.”

In my childhood, the rock was still there, but it is gone now, no one knows where.

Coyote left the dead rock and went on farther. Soon he saw a mountain sheep. The sheep insulted Coyote and made him angry. Coyote grabbed him and threw him against a pine tree. The body went clear through the tree, but the head stayed on it. The horns stuck out from the trunk of the tree.

Coyote said to the tree, “When people go by, they will talk to you. They will say, ‘I want to have good luck. So I will leave a gift here for you.’ They will leave gifts and you will make them lucky–in hunting or in war or in anything they wish to do.”

The tree became well known as the Medicine Tree. People from several tribes left gifts in it when they passed on their way to the buffalo country that is on the rising-sun side of the mountains.

In my childhood, the skull and face were still there. When I was a young girl, people told me to put some of my hair inside the sheep’s horn, so that I would live a long time. I did. That’s why I’m nearly ninety years old.

As the interpreter and I were leaving Painted-Hem- of-the-Skirt, she bent low and made a sweeping movement around her ankles and the hem of her long skirt. Then she said a few words and laughed heartily. The interpreter explained: “She says she hopes that she will not find a rattlesnake wrapped around her legs because she told some of the old stories in the summertime.”

She had laughed often as she told the tales, but I feel sure that her mother would not have related them in the summertime. “It is good to tell stories in the wintertime,” the Indians of the Northwest used to say. “There are long nights in the wintertime.”

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“What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea.”

Ghandi

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Poetry Of Resistance…

self evident

by ani di franco

yes,

us people are just poems

we’re 90% metaphor

with a leanness of meaning

approaching hyper-distillation

and once upon a time

we were moonshine

rushing down the throat of a giraffe

yes, rushing down the long hallway

despite what the p.a. announcement says>

yes, rushing down the long stairs

with the whiskey of eternity

fermented and distilled

to eighteen minutes

burning down our throats

down the hall

down the stairs

in a building so tall

that it will always be there

yes, it’s part of a pair

there on the bow of noah’s ark

the most prestigious couple

just kickin back parked

against a perfectly blue sky

on a morning beatific

in its indian summer breeze

on the day that america

fell to its knees

after strutting around for a century

without saying thank you

or please

and the shock was subsonic

and the smoke was deafening

between the setup and the punch line

cuz we were all on time for work that day

we all boarded that plane for to fly

and then while the fires were raging

we all climbed up on the windowsill

and then we all held hands

and jumped into the sky

and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast

and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed

and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar

looked more like war than anything i’ve seen so far

so far

so far

so fierce and ingenious

a poetic specter so far gone

that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling

over ‘oh my god’ and ‘this is unbelievable’ and on and on

and i’ll tell you what, while we’re at it

you can keep the pentagon

keep the propaganda

keep each and every tv

that’s been trying to convince me

to participate

in some prep school punk’s plan to perpetuate retribution

perpetuate retribution

even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution

is still hanging in the air

and there’s ash on our shoes

and there’s ash in our hair

and there’s a fine silt on every mantle

from hell’s kitchen to brooklyn

and the streets are full of stories

sudden twists and near misses

and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters

with tales of narrowly averted disasters

and the whiskey is flowin

like never before

as all over the country

folks just shake their heads

and pour

so here’s a toast to all the folks who live in palestine

afghanistan

iraq

el salvador

here’s a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation

under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

here’s a toast to all those nurses and doctors

who daily provide women with a choice

who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city

just to listen to a young woman’s voice

here’s a toast to all the folks on death row right now

awaiting the executioner’s guillotine

who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads

to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations

and we are a third world nation

under the thumb of some blue blood royal son

who stole the oval office and that phony election

i mean

it don’t take a weatherman

to look around and see the weather

jeb said he’d deliver florida, folks

and boy did he ever

and we hold these truths to be self evident:

#1 george w. bush is not president

#2 america is not a true democracy

#3 the media is not fooling me

cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation

i’ve got no room for a lie so verbose

i’m looking out over my whole human family

and i’m raising my glass in a toast

here’s to our last drink of fossil fuels

let us vow to get off of this sauce

shoo away the swarms of commuter planes

and find that train ticket we lost

cuz once upon a time the line followed the river

and peeked into all the backyards

and the laundry was waving

the graffiti was teasing us

from brick walls and bridges

we were rolling over ridges

through valleys

under stars

i dream of touring like duke ellington

in my own railroad car

i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches

in a grand station aglow with grace

and then standing out on the platform

and feeling the air on my face

give back the night its distant whistle

give the darkness back its soul

give the big oil companies the finger finally

and relearn how to rock-n-roll

yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there

so it’s time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets

and clear the air

get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand

of someone else’s desert

put it back in its pants

and quit the hypocritical chants of

freedom forever

cuz when one lone phone rang

in two thousand and one

at ten after nine

on nine one one

which is the number we all called

when that lone phone rang right off the wall

right off our desk and down the long hall

down the long stairs

in a building so tall

that the whole world turned

just to watch it fall

and while we’re at it

remember the first time around?

the bomb?

the ryder truck?

the parking garage?

the princess that didn’t even feel the pea?

remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their

design

following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!

it was a joke, of course

it was a joke

at the time

and that was just a few years ago

so let the record show

that the FBI was all over that case

that the plot was obvious and in everybody’s face

and scoping that scene

religiously

the CIA

or is it KGB?

committing countless crimes against humanity

with this kind of eventuality

as its excuse

for abuse after expensive abuse

and it didn’t have a clue

look, another window to see through

way up here

on the 104th floor

look

another key

another door

10% literal

90% metaphor

3000 some poems disguised as people

on an almost too perfect day

should be more than pawns

in some asshole’s passion play

so now it’s your job

and it’s my job

to make it that way

to make sure they didn’t die in vain

sshhhhhh….

baby listen

hear the train?

—-

What She Said

by Lisa Suhair Majaj

“They don’t have snow days in Palestine, they

have military invasion days.” (International

Solidarity Movement activists, describing

Palestinian children’s lives under Israeli

military occupation.)

She said, go play outside,

but don’t throw balls near the soldiers.

When a jeep goes past

keep your eyes on the ground.

And don’t pick up stones,

not even for hopscotch. She said,

don’t bother the neighbors;

their son was arrested last night.

Hang the laundry, make the beds,

scrub that graffiti off the walls

before the soldiers see it. She said,

there’s no money; if your shoes

are too tight, cut the toes off.

This is what we have to eat;

we won’t eat again until tomorrow.

No, we don’t have any oranges,

they chopped down the orange trees.

I don’t know why. Maybe the trees

were threatening the tanks. She said,

there’s no water, we’ll take baths next week,

insha’allah. Meanwhile, don’t flush the toilet.

And don’t go near the olive grove,

there are settlers there with guns.

No, I don’t know how we’ll harvest

the olives, and I don’t know what we’ll do

if they bulldoze the trees. God will provide

if He wishes, or UNRWA, but certainly not

the Americans. She said, you can’t

go out today, there’s a curfew.

Keep away from those windows;

can’t you hear the shooting?

No, I don’t know why they bulldozed

the neighbor’s house. And if God knows,

He’s not telling. She said,

there’s no school today,

it’s a military invasion.

No, I don’t know when it will be over,

or if it will be over. She said,

don’t think about the tanks

or the planes or the guns

or what happened to the neighbors,

Come into the hallway,

it’s safer there. And turn off that news,

you’re too young for this. Listen,

I’ll tell you a story so you won’t be scared.

Kan ya ma kan – there was or there was not –

a land called Falastine

where children played in the streets

and in the fields and in the orchards

and picked apricots and almonds

and wove jasmine garlands for their mothers.

And when planes flew overhead

they shouted happily and waved.

Kan ya ma kan. Keep your head down.

This poem was a finalist in the 2004 War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. Copyright is reserved to the author.

About the author: Lisa Suhair Majaj, a Palestinian American, has published poetry and creative nonfiction in World Literature Today, Visions International, South Atlantic Quarterly, The Women’s Review of Books, The Atlanta Review, The Poetry of Arab Women, The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East, Unrooted Childhoods and elsewhere. She has also co-edited three collections of critical essays.

—–

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad

by M. JUNAID ALAM

The intent here is to impose a regime of Shock and Awe through delivery of instant, nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction directed at influencing society writ large

–Excerpt from Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

Stand in shock and awe

At the strength of our much-burdened shoulders.

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

Watch as your homes and buildings burn

Cower as the earth around you shakes

Cry as your windows smash and shatter

Run and flee as our armored forces gather

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

Watch the skies for the first signs of your freedom:

Cruise missiles

Electricity fizzles

Microwave bombs

21,000 pound

Laser-guided

Radar-guided

And God-guided munitions

To bring your democracy to fruition.

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

We extend towards you our white hand

Once embraced by many in vain:

Indian, African, Vietnamese,

And washed clean of their colored red stain.

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

Spread the good news to the hospitals

To the cancer wards

To the 500,000

Lying quietly in their tiny coffins

And to those among you

Who will soon join them.

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

The hour of your liberation draws near

Rest assured–your fate is secured

Prepared by the Messianic and the Chosen

Inspired by the liberators of Palestine:

By tanks, settlers, bulldozers,

By starvation, torture, curfews

By occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing

By 1948

And 1492.

Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:

Shock and Awe is here

Prepare your eulogies, your epitaphs

For the hour of your liberation draws near.

M. Junaid Alam

—-

A Moment of Silence for 9/11

By Emmanuel Ortiz, 9/11/02

Before I start this poem, I’d like to ask you to

join me in a moment of silence in honor of those who

died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last

September 11th.

I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of

silence for all of those who have been harassed,

imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in

retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in both

Afghanistan and the U.S.

And if I could just add one more thing…

A full day of silence for the tens of thousands of

Palestinians who have died at the hands of

U.S.-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.

Six months of silence for the million-and-a-half Iraqi

people, mostly

children, who have died of malnourishment or

starvation as a result of

an 11-year U.S. embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem, two months of silence

for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,

where homeland security made them aliens in their own

country.

Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and

Nagasaki, where death rained down and peeled back

every layer of concrete, steel, earth, and skin and

the survivors went on as if alive.

A year of silence for the millions of dead in Viet Nam

– a people, not a war – for those who know a thing or

two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives’

bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos,

victims of a secret war … ssssshhhhh … Say nothing

… we don’t want them to learn that they are dead.

Two months of silence for the decades of dead in

Colombia, whose names, like the corpses they once

represented, have piled up and slipped off our

tongues.

Before I begin this poem, an hour of silence for El

Salvador …

An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua …

Two days of silence for the Guetmaltecos … None of

whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living

years.

45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal,

Chiapas.

25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans

who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than

any building could poke into the sky.

There will be no DNA testing or dental records to

identify their remains.

And for those who were strung and swung from the

heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the

east, the west … 100 years of silence …

For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples

from this half of right here,whose land and lives were

stolen, in postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge,

Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail

of Tears.

Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the

refrigerator of our unconsciousness …

So you want a moment of silence?

And we are all left speechless

Our tongues snatched from our mouths

Our eyes stapled shut

A moment of silence

And the poets have all been laid to rest

The drums disintegrating into dust

Before I begin this poem,

You want a moment of silence

You mourn now as if the world will never be the same

And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be.

Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem

This is a 9/10 poem,

It is a 99 poem,

A 9/8 poem,

A 9/7 poem

This is a 1492 poem.

This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be

written.

And if this is a 9/11 poem,

Then this is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971

This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South

Africa, 1977

This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at

Attica Prison, New

York, 1971.

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem for every date

that falls to the ground in ashes.

This is a poem for every date

that falls to the ground in ashes.

This is a poem for the 110 stories

that were never told.

The 110 stories that history

chose not to write in textbooks.

The 110 stories that

CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored.

This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?

We could give you lifetimes of empty:

The unmarked graves

The lost languages

The uprooted trees and histories

The dead stares on the faces of nameless children.

Before I start this poem

we could be silent forever

Or just long enough to hunger,

For the dust to bury us.

And you would still ask us

For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence

Then stop the oil pumps

Turn off the engines and the televisions

Sink the cruise ships

Crash the stock markets

Unplug the marquee lights,

Delete the instant messages,

Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

If you want a moment of silence,

Put a brick through the window of Taco Bell,

And pay the workers for wages lost.

Tear down the liquor stores,

The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses,

The Penthouses, and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,

Then take it on Super Bowl Sunday,

The Fourth of July

During Dayton’s 13 hour sale

Or the next time your white guilt fills the room

where MY beautiful people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence

Then take it now,

Before this poem begins.

Here, in the echo of my voice,

In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,

In the space between bodies in embrace,

Here is your silence

Take it.

But take it all.

Don’t cut in line.

Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime.

But we, Tonight

We will keep right on singing

For our dead.

by Emmanuel Ortiz 9.11.02

“Where There’z Fear, Freedom Diez.

Where There’z Peace, Freedom Flyz.”

___________

“Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected”